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Voice of America, 98-09-24

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] CYPRUS PRESIDENT (L -O) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [02] COHEN / NATO / KOSOVO (L) BY JIM RANDLE (VILAMOURA, PORTUGAL)
  • [03] KOSOVO REACT (L-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)
  • [04] RUSSIA / KOSOVO (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [05] ISTANBUL MAYOR (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [06] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [07] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [08] BRITAIN-IRAN (L) BY GIL BUTLER (NEW YORK)
  • [09] THE WORLD'S ECONOMY FALTERS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] CYPRUS PRESIDENT (L -O) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=9/24/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-239212
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: CYPRIOT PRESIDENT GLAFKOS CLERIDES TODAY (THURSDAY) WARNED HE WILL GO AHEAD WITH THE PLANNED DEPLOYMENT OF NEW MISSILES ON CYPRUS IF THE TURKISH CYPRIOTS CONTINUE TO REFUSE TO NEGOTIATE A POLITICAL SETTLEMENT. CYPRUS HAS BEEN DIVIDED ETHNICALLY SINCE TURKEY INVADED IN 1974 IN RESPONSE TO A COUP IN NICOSIA ENGINEERED BY THE THEN-MILITARY GOVERNMENT OF GREECE. VOA CORRESPONDENT ELAINE JOHANSON REPORTS FROM NEW YORK:

    TEXT: SPEAKING TO A PRIVATE FOREIGN POLICY GROUP IN NEW YORK, PRESIDENT CLERIDES SIGNALLED HIS IMPATIENCE WITH THE POLITICAL STALEMATE ON CYPRUS. HIS GOVERNMENT HAS POSTPONED THE DELIVERY OF NEW AIR DEFENSE MISSILES AT LEAST TWICE THIS YEAR. THE GREEK CYPRIOT LEADER INDICATED, HOWEVER, DEPLOYMENT MAY PROCEED BEFORE THE YEAR IS OUT:

    //CLERIDES ACT//

    IF THE OTHER SIDE IS PREPARED TO SIT AT THE NEGOTIATING TABLE TO NEGOTIATE THAT WHICH THE U-N RESOLUTIONS HAVE ASKED FOR -- REDACTION (REDUCTION) OF FORCES AND ARMAMENTS -- I WILL AGAIN POSTPONE THE ARRIVAL OF MISSILES UNTIL WE AGREE TO A REDACTION OF ARMAMENTS. FAILING THAT, I WILL NOT AGREE TO ANY POSTPONEMENT SIMPLY BECAUSE I AM THREATENED BY TURKEY.

    //END ACT//

    (BEGIN OPT) MR. CLERIDES SAYS IN HIS SPEECH TO THE U-N GENERAL ASSEMBLY FRIDAY HE WILL AGAIN APPEAL TO TURKISH CYPRIOT LEADER RAUF DENKTASH TO BEGIN TALKS. (END OPT)

    CYPRUS HAS COME UNDER INTENSE PRESSURE FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE UNITED STATES TO END ITS DECADES-LONG FEUD, WHICH HAS FUELED TENSIONS BETWEEN ARCH-RIVALS GREECE AND TURKEY -- BOTH MEMBERS OF NATO. ALSO, THE PROSPECTS OF NEW MISSILE DEPLOYMENTS HAVE RAISED ALARM NOT ONLY IN ANKARA BUT THROUGHOUT THE DIPLOMATIC COMMUNITY. TURKEY MAINTAINS TROOPS IN THE TURKISH CYPRIOT SECTOR AND HAS WARNED IT WILL NOT SIT BY QUIETLY IF THE MISSILES ARE INDEED DEPLOYED.

    //REST OPT//

    THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION AT ONE TIME HAD ASSIGNED A HIGH PRIORITY TO THE CYPRUS ISSUE AND ENGAGED IN A RATHER HIGH-PROFILE DIPLOMATIC EFFORT. NOTHING MUCH HAS COME OF IT. BOTH SIDES APPEAR AS FAR APART AS EVER. BUT THE CYPRIOT PRESIDENT WANTS THE UNITED STATES TO KEEP GOING:

    //CLERIDES ACT//

    IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT THE UNITED STATES CONTINUES ENGAGED AND EXERCISES REAL INFLUENCE ON TURKEY TO RE-CONSIDER ITS POSITION ON THE CYPRUS PROBLEM.

    //END ACT//

    PRESIDENT CLERIDES MET WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON EARLIER THIS WEEK DURING THE NEW SESSION OF THE U-N GENERAL ASSEMBLY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/NY/EJ/LSF
    24-Sep-98 5:00 PM EDT (2100 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] COHEN / NATO / KOSOVO (L) BY JIM RANDLE (VILAMOURA, PORTUGAL)

    DATE=9/24/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-239205
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE NATO ALLIANCE NATO MOVED A STEP CLOSER TO AIR STRIKES IN KOSOVO THURSDAY, AS ALLIANCE DEFENSE MINISTERS DISCUSSED WHICH NATIONS WOULD PROVIDE PLANS FOR A POSSIBLE ATTACK. THE TOP U-S DEFENSE OFFICIAL SAYS THE WORLD IS 'RUNNING OUT OF PATIENCE' WITH YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC AND HIS ATTACKS ON CIVILIANS IN KOSOVO. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS FROM VILAMOURA, PORTUGAL, WHERE THE NATO MINISTERS ARE MEETING.

    TEXT: AMBASSADORS TO NATO ORDERED THE MILITARY LEADERSHIP TO BEGIN LINING UP PLANES AND OTHER ASSETS NEEDED FOR POSSIBLE AIR ATTACKS ON YUGOSLAV MILITARY TARGETS IN KOSOVO.

    AFTER A DAY OF PRIVATE, INFORMAL TALKS WITH ALL OF THE NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL JAVIER SOLANA SAYS MOST NATO COUNTRIES ARE WILLING TO CONTRIBUTE AIRCRAFT OR SUPPORT THE POSSIBLE AIR STRIKES IN OTHER WAYS.

    GERMAN OFFICIALS SAY THEY CAN SEND FIGHTERS AND ELECTRONIC WARFARE PLANES. U-S OFFICIALS SAY U-S FORCES WILL PARTICIPATE, BUT WON'T SAY IN PUBLIC WHAT KINDS OR HOW MANY.

    U-S DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN SAYS YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC HAS USED 26-THOUSAND TROOPS AND POLICE IN KOSOVO 'TO ATTACK VILLAGES AND DESTROY HOMES.'

    MR. COHEN SAYS MORE THAN 250-THOUSAND PEOPLE HAVE FLED THEIR HOMES AND BECOME REFUGEES IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY. KOSOVO IS A PROVINCE OF SERBIA AND SERBIA IS THE DOMINANT REPUBLIC IN YUGOSLAVIA. MORE THAN 50-THOUSAND HAVE FLED KOSOVO TO OTHER COUNTRIES.

    MR. COHEN SAYS WINTER'S ARRIVAL PUTS THE REFUGEES HIDING IN KOSOVO'S HILLS AT GREAT RISK. HE SAYS THERE IS BROAD AGREEMENT IN THE ALLIANCE TO MOVE QUICKLY TO AVERT A HUMANATARIAN DISASTER IN KOSOVO.

    /// COHEN ACT ///

    TODAY NATO SENT A CLEAR MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC, THAT IT IS TIME TO STOP THE KILLING AND DESTRUCTION IN KOSOVO. PATIENCE IS RUNNING OUT, AND NATO HAS USED AIR POWER IN THE PAST TO FORCE AN END TO THE FIGHTING IN BOSNIA, AND WE TOOK AN IMPORTANT STEP IN THAT DIRECTION TODAY.

    /// END ACT ///

    SECRETARY GENERAL SOLANA SAYS NATO AND THE U-N ARE MAKING THE SAME DEMANDS ON THE YUGOSLAV FORCES LED BY MR. MILOSEVIC. HE SAYS THEY MUST STOP THEIR OFFENSIVE, ALLOW REFUGEES TO GO HOME, AND REMOVE SECURITY UNITS USED TO SUPPRESS CIVILIANS. MR. SOLANA SAYS YUGOSLAV FORCES MUST ALSO ALLOW HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO REACH THOSE IN NEED.

    /// SOLANA ACT 116 ///

    IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE DECISIONS TAKEN YESTERDAY AND TODAY (BY THE U-N AND NATO) , TO A CERTAIN EXTENT, ARE NOT VERY FAR FROM AN ULTIMATUM.

    /// END ACT ///

    BUT IN THE PAST, PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC HAS OFTEN IGNORED PUBLIC PLEAS AND PRESSURE FROM OUTSIDE HIS COUNTRY. NATO CRITICS IN THE BRITISH PRESS AND ELSEWHERE SAY THE ALLIANCE'S CREDIBILITY HAS BEEN DAMAGED WHEN PAST STRONG WORDS WERE RARELY FOLLOWED BY STRONG ACTIONS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JR/WDC/KL
    24-Sep-98 4:04 PM EDT (2004 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] KOSOVO REACT (L-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)

    DATE=9/24/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-239184
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AS SERB SECURITY FORCES PRESSED THEIR OFFENSIVE AGAINST SUSPECTED ALBANIAN SEPARATISTS IN THE DRENICA REGION OF CENTRAL KOSOVO, ETHNIC ALBANIAN LEADERS CALLED FOR IMMEDIATE NATO INTERVENTION TO END THE FIGHTING. THE CALL FOLLOWS NEWS OF RENEWED NATO DETERMINATION TO INTERVENE IN THE ONGOING BATTLE IN KOSOVO. PHILIP SMUCKER FILED THIS REPORT FROM PRISTINA.

    TEXT: SERBIAN SECURITY FORCES ARE STILL PRESSING THEIR OFFENSIVE AGAINST ETHNIC ALBANIAN SEPARATISTS, EVEN IN THE FACE OF RENEWED NATO THREATS.

    BRUSHING OFF THE NATO WARNING THAT IT MAY USE AIR POWER TO HALT THE FIGHTING IN KOSOVO, SERB SECURITY FORCES ROUNDED UP NEARLY 200 SUSPECTED ETHNIC ALBANIAN SEPARATISTS THURSDAY.

    THE ETHNIC ALBANIANS WERE SEIZED IN KOSOVO'S EMBATTLED DRENICA REGION.

    U-N REFUGEE OFFICIALS EXPRESSED FEARS THAT THE MEN HAD BEEN ILLEGALLY REMOVED FROM THEIR FAMILIES AND WOULD BE MISTREATED BY THE SERBS.

    AS FIGHTING CONTINUED IN THE DRENICA, A SENIOR ADVISOR TO ETHNIC ALBANIAN PRESIDENT IBRAHIM RUGOVA CALLED FOR IMMEDIATE NATO INTERVENTION TO END THE FIGHTING.

    DR. ALUSH GASHI SAID NATO TROOPS WERE NEEDED TO CREATED CONDITIONS FOR A PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT TO THE KOSOVO CONFLICT.

    ///GASHI ACT ///

    NATO INTERVENTION ON THE GROUND IS NEEDED TO CREATE CONDITIONS FOR NEGOTIATIONS AND DIALOGUE AND PREVENT FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THIS HUMANITARIAN TRAGEDY.

    ///END ACT///

    DR. GASHI SAID THAT SERBIAN FORCES WERE SEPARATING MEN FROM WOMEN. HE ALSO SAID THAT SENDING REFUGEES BACK TO VILLAGES CONTROLLED BY SERBIAN FORCES WOULD BE LIKE SENDING THEM TO "CONCENTRATION CAMPS."

    THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN LEADERSHIP IN PRISTINA REMAINS SHARPLY DIVIDED FROM THE ALBANIAN ARMED STRUGGLE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE, WHICH IS BEING CARRIED OUT BY GUERRILLA FIGHTERS OF THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY. BOTH THE ALBANIAN POLITICAL AND MILITARY FACTIONS INSIST ON INDEPENDENCE FROM SERBIAN RULE.

    SERB FORCES ARE ENGAGED IN A FOUR PRONGED ATTACK ON DRENICA NEAR THE VILLAGE OF LIKOSHANE, WHERE KOSOVO'S GUERRILLA CONFLICT FLARED UP LAST FEBRUARY.

    THE PRISTINA-BASED "SERBIAN MEDIA CENTER" SAID THAT SERBIAN POLICE SURROUNDED ALBANIAN EXTREMIST GROUPS WHO WERE WITHDRAWING TO A NEARBY MOUNTAIN. MEANWHILE, THE YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT BRUSHED OFF THREATS OF NATO ACTION TO STOP THE WAR.

    SERBIA'S PRESIDENT MILAN MILUTINOVIC TOLD SUPPORTERS THAT THE THREATS OF NATO MILITARY INTERVENTION WERE, TO USE HIS WORDS, "COMING FROM COUNTRIES THAT SAY THERE IS AN HUMANITARIAN CATASTROPHE AND WHO ARE AT THE SAME TIME HELPING TERRORISTS WITH MONEY AND WEAPONS."

    OTHER SERB OFFICIALS DENY THAT FIGHTING IS CONTINUING. STATE TELEVISION HAS BROADCAST PICTURES OF SERBS AND ALBANIANS RETURNING TO THEIR HOMES AND LIVING HAPPILY TOGETHER. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/PCF
    24-Sep-98 12:13 PM EDT (1613 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] RUSSIA / KOSOVO (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=9/24/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-239213
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: RUSSIA'S NEW FOREIGN MINISTER IGOR IVANOV THURSDAY MET WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON TO DISCUSS HIS COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC CRISIS AND OTHER ISSUES -- INCLUDING KOSOVO. MR. IVANOV EXPRESSED RUSSIA'S OPPOSITION TO ANY MILITARY ACTION TO END THE CONFLICT IN THE SERB PROVINCE. V-O-A'S DEBORAH TATE REPORTS.

    TEXT: MR. IVANOV EXPRESSED RUSSIAN CONCERNS AS NATO PREPARES FOR POSSIBLE MILITARY INTERVENTION TO STOP THE SERB OFFENSIVE IN KOSOVO.

    EMERGING FROM HIS TALKS WITH MR. CLINTON, MR. IVANOV (SPEAKING THROUGH A TRANSLATOR) TOLD REPORTERS MOSCOW OPPOSES SUCH USE OF FORCE BECAUSE OF WHAT HE CALLED ITS "UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES":

    /// IVANOV ACTUALITY ///

    USE OF POWER, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHERE IT COMES FROM, CANNOT BRING ABOUT THE RESOLUTION OF THE KOSOVO PROBLEM. WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT IS A LONG-TERM SETTLEMENT WHICH WOULD MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR THE PEOPLE OF YUGOSLAVIA TO LIVE IN PEACE AND ACCORD IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE CURRENT EXISTING YUGOSLAV BORDERS.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. IVANOV PRAISED A U-N SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION PASSED WEDNESDAY CALLING FOR AN IMMEDIATE CEASE-FIRE IN KOSOVO -- SAYING IT SENDS A POWERFUL SIGNAL TO BELGRADE AND PRISTINA THAT THE SITUATION IN THE SERB PROVINCE CAN NO LONGER BE TOLERATED.

    ON THE ISSUE OF RUSSIA'S ECONOMIC INSTABILITY, MR. IVANOV SAYS HE REASSURED MR. CLINTON HIS GOVERNMENT WILL TAKE THE NECESSARY ACTION TO EASE THE CRISIS AND IMPLEMENT REFORM.

    WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN MIKE MCCURRY SAYS MR. IVANOV AND MR. CLINTON ALSO DISCUSSED SEVERAL OTHER ISSUES -- INCLUDING THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC SITUATION, AND PROSPECTS FOR RATIFICATION OF THE START TWO NUCLEAR TREATY BY THE RUSSIAN DUMA. THE PACT HAS BEEN AWAITING ACTION BY RUSSIAN LAWMAKERS FOR YEARS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAT/WDC/PT
    24-Sep-98 5:01 PM EDT (2101 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] ISTANBUL MAYOR (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=9/24/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-239182
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE GATHERED OUTSIDE THE ISTANBUL CITY HALL ON THURSDAY TO PROTEST A TURKISH APPEALS COURT DECISION TO UPHOLD A JAIL SENTENCE AGAINST THE CITY'S ISLAMIST MAYOR, RECEP TAYYIB ERDOGAN. AS AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS FROM ANKARA MR. ERDOGAN WAS SENTENCED IN APRIL TO 10 MONTHS IN JAIL FOR A POEM HE RECITED DURING A RALLY LAST YEAR WHICH AUTHORITIES SAY INCITED A RELIGIOUS REBELLION.

    TEXT: APPEARING BEFORE THE TENS-OF-THOUSANDS OF SUPPORTERS GATHERED OUTSIDE HIS OFFICE THURSDAY, ISTANBUL MAYOR ERDOGAN INSISTED THE CASE AGAINST HIM WAS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED. IN AN IMPASSIONED SPEECH THAT WAS FREQUENTLY INTERRUPTED BY THE WILDLY CHEERING CROWDS, MR. ERDOGAN SAID THE COURT'S VERDICT CONSTITUTED WHAT HE CALLED A "SHAMEFUL PAGE" IN TURKEY'S JUDICIAL HISTORY.

    UNDER TURKISH LAW, THE RULING MEANS THAT MR. ERDOGAN -- TURKEY'S MOST POPULAR ISLAMIST POLITICIAN -- CAN NEVER AGAIN RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE.

    BUT STRIKING A DEFIANT NOTE, MR. ERDOGAN VOWED TO CARRY ON HIS FIGHT, SAYING THAT IT WAS UP TO HIS PEOPLE AND NOBODY ELSE TO DETERMINE HIS POLITICAL FUTURE.

    THE MAYOR HAS JUST TWO WEEKS TO ASK THE APPEALS COURT TO REVIEW ITS VERDICT. BUT FEW ANALYSTS BELIEVE THE COURT WILL REVERSE ITS RULING.

    THEY ADD MR. ERDOGAN'S REMOVAL FROM THE POLITICAL SCENE WILL DEAL A HEAVY BLOW TO TURKEY'S RESURGENT ISLAMIST MOVEMENT. MR. ERDOGAN'S CHARISMA, HONESTY, AND ACHIEVEMENTS DURING HIS FOUR YEARS AS MAYOR OF TURKEY'S LARGEST AND MOST UNWIELDY CITY HAD MADE HIM POPULAR AMONG MILLIONS OF TURKS ACROSS THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM.

    HE WAS WIDELY EXPECTED TO TAKE OVER LEADERSHIP OF THE PRO-ISLAMIC "VIRTUE" PARTY. THAT PARTY WAS FORMED TO REPLACE THE PRO-ISLAMIC "WELFARE" PARTY, WHICH WAS BANNED EARLIER THIS YEAR ON CHARGES OF SEEKING TO INTRODUCE ISLAMIC RULE DURING ITS ONE YEAR IN OFFICE IN 1995.

    // OPT //

    WELFARE PARTY LEADER NECMETTIN ERBAKAN WAS ALSO BARRED FROM POLITICS FOR THE COMING FIVE YEARS. HE AND AROUND 80 OTHER ISLAMIST POLITICIANS NOW FACE UP TO NINE-YEARS IN PRISON ON CHARGES OF ILLEGALLY DIVERTING PARTY FUNDS AND ISSUING FALSE RECEIPTS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS. // END OPT //

    TURKEY'S RIGIDLY SECULAR ARMED FORCES HAVE LED THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE ISLAMIST MOVEMENT, WHICH MILITARY OFFICIALS SAY RANKS WITH KURDISH SEPARATISM AS THE CHIEF THREAT FACING THE COUNTRY. (SIGNED) NEB/AZ/PCF/GC/RAE
    24-Sep-98 11:44 AM EDT (1544 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=9/24/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-239216
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN SHARPLY TODAY (THURSDAY) AS PROBLEMS IN A MAJOR HEDGE FUND STIRRED NEW WORRIES ABOUT FINANCIAL MARKETS IN GENERAL. VOA CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT EIGHT THOUSAND TWO, DOWN 152 POINTS OR ALMOST TWO PERCENT. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT ONE THOUSAND 42, DOWN 23 POINTS.

    ANALYSTS SAY THE SELL-OFF WAS A COMBINATION OF PROFIT-TAKING AFTER WEDNESDAY'S BIG THREE PERCENT GAIN AND CONCERN ABOUT THE STABILITY OF GIANT HEDGE FUNDS. THE CONCERN WAS SPARKED BY A THREE AND THREE-QUARTER BILLION DOLLAR BAIL OUT OF THE L-T-C-M HEDGE FUND (EDTORS : THE FUND THAT USES TO SPECULATE ON THE MARKET), A BAIL OUT ORGANIZED BY THE NEW YORK FEDERAL RESERVE BANK. QUESTIONS ARE BEING RAISED ABOUT THE SOUNDNESS OF OTHER HEDGE FUNDS WHICH TYPICALLY USE BORROWED MONEY FOR AGGRESSIVE TRADING STRATEGIES.

    ///REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    BUT THERE IS STILL OPTIMISM ON WALL STREET THAT THE U-S CENTRAL BANK WILL LOWER SHORT-TERM INTEREST RATES AS EARLY AS NEXT TUESDAY. HOWEVER, MARSHALL ACUFF OF THE SMITH BARNEY INVESTMENT FIRM POINTS OUT THAT CORPORATE PROFITS MAY FALL ALONG WITH INTEREST RATES.

    ///ACUFF ACT///

    WHILE THE MARKET MAY FEEL GOOD ABOUT A BETTER TREND IN INTEREST RATES, THE OFF-SETTING FACTOR IS THAT PROFIT GROWTH WILL PROBABLY CONTINUE TO SLOW DOWN.

    ///END ACT///

    THE GOVERNMENT REPORTS ORDERS FOR DURABLE GOODS -- PRODUCTS MEANT TO LAST THREE YEARS OR LONGER -- SURGED BY ONE POINT SIX PERCENT IN AUGUST, LED BY A BIG INCREASE IN AUTO AND AIRCRAFT ORDERS.

    IN A MOSTLY DOWN STOCK MARKET, THERE WAS A BIG BRIGHT SPOT FOR INVESTORS IN EBAY (EE-BAY), AN ON-LINE AUCTION COMPANY WHICH ISSUED ITS FIRST STOCK. WHEN THE DAY WAS OVER, THE VALUE OF EBAY STOCK HAD RISEN BY 162 PERCENT.

    BED BATH AND BEYOND, A RETAILER OF HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS, REPORTED A 30 PERCENT QUARTERLY PROFIT INCREASE, WELL BEYOND EXPECTATIONS. THE COMPANY ALREADY OPERATES 160 STORES IN THE UNITED STATES AND SAYS IT WILL ADD 40 MORE WITHIN A YEAR.

    F-D-X CORPORATION, THE PARENT COMPANY OF THE FEDERAL EXPRESS PACKAGE DELIVERY SERVICE, ALSO REPORTED BETTER-THAN-EXPECTED EARNINGS. THE COMPANY SAYS STRONG DOMESTIC GROWTH MORE THAN OFFSET PROBLEMS IN SOME INTERNATIONAL MARKETS.

    U-S GOVERNMENT SECURITIES REGULATORS HAVE FILED CHARGES AGAINST 41 PEOPLE WHO WERE ALLEGEDLY INVOLVED IN A VARIETY OF SCHEMES TO CHEAT INVESTORS. A LARGE NUMBER ARE ACCUSED OF ENGAGING IN SO-CALLED "PUMP AND DUMP" OPERATIONS. THOSE SCHEMES INVOLVE SPREADING FALSE AND MISLEADING INFORMATION ABOUT A SMALL COMPANY'S STOCK AND THEN SELLING IT TO UNWARY INVESTORS.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    24-Sep-98 5:16 PM EDT (2116 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=09/24/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10926
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ///// ED'S: DATED AFTER 10 P-M EDT. /////

    INTRO: PRESIDENT CLINTON'S TROUBLES, AND THE WAY CONGRESS PLANS TO DEAL WITH THEM, CONTINUES TO OCCUPY THE TOP SPOT IN MANY U-S EDITORIAL COLUMNS THIS THURSDAY. OTHER TOPICS INCLUDE THE "ETHNIC CLEANSING" IN YUGOSLAVIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE AND A POSSIBLE WESTERN RESPONSE; HOW TO SPEND THE BUDGET SURPLUS; HOW BEST TO HELP THE AILING RUSSIAN ECONOMY; THE DEBATE OVER PUERTO RICO'S FUTURE; AND THE HURRICANE CURRENTLY ROILING THE CARIBBEAN. NOW, JOINING US AT THE V-O-A MICROPHONE IS _______________________ WITH A CLOSER LOOK AND SOME QUOTES IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: THERE ARE SEVERAL EDITORIALS IN THURSDAY'S PAPERS THAT ASK CONGRESS TO PROCEED QUICKLY TO END THE CLINTON WHITE HOUSE SEX SCANDAL, AND AT LEAST ONE HIGHLY CRITICAL OF SPECIAL COUNSEL KENNETH STARR FOR SOME OMISSIONS IN HIS LENGTHY REPORT. FOR EXAMPLE, THE HEADLINE OVER THE LEAD EDITORIAL IN TODAY'S "MIAMI HERALD" READS: "END THE INQUISITION ... OF PRESIDENT CLINTON" WITH THE PAPER MAKING THESE POINTS.

    VOICE: FIND A WAY OUT OF THIS QUAGMIRE: THAT IS PLAINLY THE VIEW THAT MOST AMERICANS SHARE AS THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MEETS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS TODAY TO PLOT ITS NEXT MOVE IN THE LONG-RUNNING SAGA OF PRESIDENT CLINTON AND KEN STARR. NOTHING REVEALED DURING THAT EMBARRASSING SESSION -- OR THUS FAR IN THE THOUSANDS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS THAT MR. STARR HAS RELEASED -- RISES TO THE LEVEL OF AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE, AT LEAST NOT AS MEASURED BY HISTORIC STANDARDS. ... SPEAKER NEWT GINGRICH CLAIMED YESTERDAY THAT THE HOUSE HAS A SOLEMN CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY TO PROCEED WITH IMPEACHMENT. ... THERE HAS TO BE ANOTHER WAY OUT -- PASSAGE OF A RESOLUTION OF CENSURE, PERHAPS -- THAT COULD WIN BIPARTISAN SUPPORT AND BEGIN TO CLOSE THIS SORDID MATTER. .... IT'S 'ENOUGH ALREADY!'

    TEXT: IN NEW YORK, "THE DAILY NEWS" FAULTS THE STARR REPORT FOR WHAT THE PAPER SAYS ARE SERIOUS OMISSIONS OF FACTS FAVORABLE TO PRESIDENT CLINTON.

    VOICE: AS THE SMOKE LIFTS AFTER THE RELEASE OF PRESIDENT CLINTON'S GRAND JURY TESTIMONY, SOME KEY FACTS ARE BECOMING CLEAR. ONE IS THAT WHILE KENNETH STARR'S 445-PAGE REPORT TO CONGRESS HAD A TON OF SALACIOUS DETAILS ABOUT SEX, IT DID NOT CONTAIN CRUCIAL TESTIMONY FROM THE PRIME WITNESS THAT DESTROYS THE VERY FOUNDATION OF THE STARR WITCH HUNT. WHAT THE INDEPENDENT PERSECUTOR [A PLAY ON THE WORDS "INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR" ] DID NOT PUT IN HIS REPORT WAS THAT MONICA LEWINSKY TOLD THE GRAND JURY PLAINLY, 'NO ONE EVER ASKED ME TO LIE, AND I WAS NEVER PROMISED A JOB FOR MY SILENCE.' ... INSTEAD OF UNCOVERING [MR.] CLINTON AND [PRESIDENTIAL FRIEND AND CONFIDANT VERNON] JORDAN TRYING TO FIX THE JONES CASE, [MR.] STARR'S STAR WITNESS REFUTED THE THEORY -- PROBABLY FROM THE BEGINNING. /// OPT /// BUT THAT DID NOT STOP [MR.] STARR. NO -- AGAINST A ZEALOT, THE TRUTH IS JUST ANOTHER OBSTACLE. AND KEN STARR IS A ZEALOT. A DANGEROUS ONE, AT THAT.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: "THE NEW YORK TIMES" CONCEDES THAT ...FLAWS AND OMISSIONS IN THE REPORT IS THE BASIS FOR THE "HEAVY ATTACK" ON MR. STARR, AND AGREES THE REPORT WOULD HAVE GAINED GREATER AUTHORITY IF IT HAS BEEN WRITTEN WITH MORE RESTRAINT, BUT CONCLUDES:

    VOICE: ... WHATEVER MR. STARR'S FAILINGS, THEY WILL NEVER ACHIEVE THE GRAND MALIGNANCY OF MR. CLINTON'S FOLLY AND MISCALCULATIONS. AS HIS WHITE HOUSE BELATEDLY SUES FOR PEACE, THOSE MISTAKES HAVE ALREADY TOPPLED VIRTUALLY EVERYTHING EXCEPT HIS CHANCE TO LONGER IN OFFICE UNTIL TWO-THOUSAND-AND-ONE.

    TEXT: TO INTERNATIONAL MATTERS NOW, AND THE CONCERN FOR THOUSANDS OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS DRIVEN INTO THE FORESTS OF YUGOSLOVIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE BY MORE "ETHNIC CLEANSING" BY SERBIAN LEADER SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC. "THE OREGONIAN" IN PORTLAND SAYS -- STOP SERB CLEANSING IN KOSOVO.

    VOICE: AGAIN, SERBIAN ARMIES ARE LAUNCHING AN ETHNIC MASSACRE; AGAIN, ONLY THE UNITED STATES HAS THE POWER TO STOP IT. ... IF BILL CLINTON IS LOOKING FOR WAYS TO SHOW LEADERSHIP, THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY THAT IS NOT JUST KNOCKING, BUT POUNDING ON HIS DOOR. AND IF THE UNITED STATES ISN'T GOING TO ANSWER IT, SOMEBODY HAD BETTER.

    /// OPT ///

    THIS WEEK, THE BLOODY SERBIAN ASSAULT ON THE PROVINCE OF KOSOVO CONTINUES, WITH ARTILLERY POUNDING VILLAGES, KILLING CIVILIANS AND CREATING THOUSANDS OF REFUGEES -- MANY WITH NO REFUGE BUT OPEN FIELDS. /// END OPT /// THE ONLY THING LIKELY TO STOP THIS MASSACRE, AS THE WORLD SAW IN BOSNIA, IS A FIRM WESTERN RESPONSE, PROBABLY INVOLVING BOMBERS.

    TEXT: HERE IN THE NATION'S CAPITOL, "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" POINTS OUT THAT MANY OF THE PRESIDENT'S HARSHEST CRITICS ON OTHER MATTERS, THE CONSERVATIVE RIGHT, ARE SOLIDLY BEHIND HIM ON THIS ISSUE, SHOULD HE INTERVENE.

    /// OPT ///

    VOICE: THE BALL [INITIATIVE] IS NOW IN THE ADMINISTRATION'S COURT, BUT THIS MUCH HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED: THERE IS A GROWING FEELING AMONG PROMINENT CONSERVATIVES AND REPUBLICANS THAT WE CANNOT STAND IDLY BY AGAIN. ACCORDING TO [FORMER U-N AMBASSADOR JEANE] ...KIRKPATRICK, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER SANDY BERGER HAS BEEN INFORMED THAT THE WHITE HOUSE CAN EXPECT BROAD SUPPORT IF IT DECIDES TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF THE KOSOVARS AND THEIR SERBIAN TORMENTORS. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT. IT'S ABOUT TIME SOMEONE GOT SERIOUS.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE BUDGET SURPLUS IS ON THE MIND OF SEVERAL PAPERS, AND IN FLORIDA, "THE MIAMI HERALD" SAYS ONE OF THE MOST INTELLIGENT USES WOULD BE TO HELP RETRAIN THE NATION'S WORKFORCE FOR 21ST CENTURY JOBS.

    VOICE: ... REPUBLICANS HAVE PUSHED AN 80-BILLION TAX-CUT PLAN THROUGH THE HOUSE, WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE. THEY HOPE TO PERSUADE THE FULL HOUSE OF ITS MERITS BEFORE SENDING IT ON FOR SENATE APPROVAL ... /// OPT /// WHO COULD ARGUE WITH TAX BREAKS FOR MIDDLE-INCOME WORKING PEOPLE ...? ACTUALLY, JUST ABOUT ANYONE COULD WHO BELIEVES THAT A BUDGET SURPLUS, IS A TEMPORARY PHENOMENON, SUBJECT TO THE UPS AND DOWNS OF ECONOMIC CYCLES. /// END OPT /// ... FAR BETTER WOULD BE TO USE THE MONEY TO INVEST IN PEOPLE, THE BASIC BUILDING BLOCKS OF ANY ECONOMY THAT EXPECTS SUSTAINED GROWTH AND PROSPERITY ... TO TRAIN OR RETRAIN PEOPLE DOWNSIZED OUT OF JOBS, DISPLACED BY THE GLOBAL ECONOMY'S NEW ALIGNMENTS, OR PUSHED INTO THE WORK FORCE BY WELFARE REFORM.

    TEXT: TURNING TO RUSSIA, A COUNTRY WITH JUST THE OPPOSITE PROBLEM THAN A BUDGET SURPLUS, "THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR" SAYS " THE CHALLENGE FOR RUSSIA'S FRIENDS IN THE WEST WILL BE TO REMAIN PATIENTLY ENGAGED" AS THE NATION SORTS OUTS ITS FISCAL DILEMMA.

    /// OPT ///

    VOICE: WHAT GOT RUSSIA INTO THIS MESS IS NOT TOO MUCH ECONOMIC REFORM, BUT TOO LITTLE. THE POLITICIANS HAVE NEVER BEEN WILLING TO MAKE THE TOUGH DECISIONS NECESSARY TO ALLOW THE MARKET TO FUNCTION. INDEED, THE COMMUNISTS, AGRARIANS, AND OTHERS WHO CONTROL THE LOWER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT HAVE FOUGHT REFORM EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: TURNING BRIEFLY TO THE CARIBBEAN, "THE WASHINGTON POST" IS UPSET WITH CONGRESS THAT, DESPITE PLEAS FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO, NO ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN TO HELP DETERMINE ITS FUTURE.

    VOICE: THE PROSPECTS OF A FAIR SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM OF PUERTO RICO HAVE BEEN ALL BUT SMOTHERED IN THIS SESSION OF THE REPUBLICAN-CONTROLLED SENATE. THE HOPE WAS THAT THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR OF SPAIN'S FORCIBLE CESSION OF THE ISLAND TO THE UNITED STATES COULD BE USED TO GENERATE MOMENTUM TO UNDO WHAT IS WIDELY RECOGNIZED AS A COLONIAL TIE. INSTEAD THE SENATE PROVIDED CONSPICUOUS NEW EVIDENCE OF THE FAILURE OF THE UNITED STATES TO ALLOW THE ISLAND'S NEARLY FOUR-MILLION RESIDENTS RIGHTS EQUAL TO THOSE ENJOYED BY THEIR FELLOW AMERICAN CITIZENS ON THE MAINLAND.

    TEXT: AND STILL IN THE CARIBBEAN, "THE ORLANDO SENTINEL" IN AN EDITORIAL CATALOGING THE DAMAGE ALREADY CAUSED AMONG THE ISLANDS BY HURRICANE GEORGES, SAYS THE STORM, NOW BEARING DOWN ON SOUTH FLORIDA, IS "NOTHING TO KID ABOUT." IT WARNS ITS READERS IN CENTRAL FLORIDA TO PREPARE FOR THE WORST. AND ON THAT METEOROLOGICAL NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIALS FROM SOME OF THE NATION'S DAILY PAPERS.
    NEB/ANG/RAE
    24-Sep-98 10:55 AM EDT (1455 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] BRITAIN-IRAN (L) BY GIL BUTLER (NEW YORK)

    DATE=9/24/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-239207
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITAIN AND IRAN HAVE ANNOUNCED THEY ARE UPGRADING THEIR RELATIONS AND WILL EXCHANGE AMBASSADORS. IRAN IS ALSO TO HAVE IMPROVED RELATIONS WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION. FROM NEW YORK, V-O-A'S GIL BUTLER REPORTS THE IMPROVEMENT IN RELATIONS CAME AFTER IRAN DISTANCED ITSELF FROM THE DEATH THREAT AGAINST A BRITISH AUTHOR WHO'S BOOK MANY MUSLIMS CONSIDER BLASPHEMOUS.

    TEXT: SALMAN RUSHDIE'S BOOK, THE SATANIC VERSES, ENRAGED MUSLIMS IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES WHEN IT WAS PUBLISHED. THEY CONSIDERED IT TO BE BLASPHEMOUS AND ACCUSED MR. RUSHDIE OF BEING AN APOSTATE--A LAPSED MUSLIM. IN 1989, IRAN'S SPIRITUAL LEADER, THE LATE AYATOLLAH KHOMEINI, ISSUED A FATWA, CALLING FOR SALMAN RUSHDIE'S DEATH. LATER, A BOUNTY WAS OFFERED TO THE PERSON WHO SUCCEEDED IN KILLING HIM.

    MR. RUSHDIE IS A BRITISH SUBJECT AND THE IRANIAN THREAT LED TO A BREAK IN RELATIONS THAT WAS NOT HEALED UNTIL TODAY. MEETING WITH REPORTERS AFTER TALKS AT THE UNITED NATIONS, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY ROBIN COOK ANNOUNCED THAT THE TWO COUNTRIES WILL UPGRADE THEIR RELATIONS TO THE AMBASSADORIAL LEVEL. HE MADE IT CLEAR, IRAN'S PUBLIC STATEMENTS THAT THE THREAT AGAINST MR. RUSHDIE WILL NOT BE CARRIED OUT WAS CENTRAL TO THE BRITISH DECISION.

    /// COOK ACT ///

    I CONFIRMED THAT NEITHER WE NOR ANY OF OUR EUROPEAN UNION PARTNERS CONDONED THE CONTENT OF SALMAN RUSHDIE'S BOOK, THE SATANIC VERSES, BUT WE BELIEVE IN AN INDIVIDUAL'S RIGHT TO EXPRESS HIS VIEWS FREELY IN LINE WITH OUR BELIEF IN THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AS ENSHRINED IN INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS.

    /// END ACT ///

    IRANIAN FOREIGN MINSTER KAMAL KHARRAZI SAID PUBLICLY THAT IRAN'S GOVERNMENT WILL NO LONGER THREATEN SALMAN RUSHDIE.

    /// KHARRAZI ACT ///

    THE GOVERNMENT OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN HAS NO INTENTION NOR IS IT GOING TO TAKE ANY ACTION WHATSOEVER TO THREATEN THE LIFE OF THE AUTHOR OF THE SATANIC VERSES OR ANYBODY ASSOCIATED WITH HIS BOOK. NOR WILL IT ENCOURAGE OR ASSIST ANYBODY TO DO SO. ACCORDINGLY, THE GOVERNMENT DISASSOCIATES ITSELF FROM ANY REWARD WHICH HAS BEEN OFFERED IN THIS REGARD AND DOES NOT SUPPORT IT.

    /// END ACT ///

    U-S SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT SAID THE REAL TEST WILL BE IMPLEMENTATION OF IRAN'S PLEDGE AND THE PERSON WHO CAN JUDGE THAT IS--SALMAN RUSHDIE.

    /// ALBRIGHT ACT ///

    ULTIMATELY THE QUESTION WILL HAVE TO BE ASKED OF SALMAN RUSHDIE, WHO--THIS HAS BEEN A VERY COMPLICATED SECURITY PROBLEM FOR HIM--AND HE'S THE ONE WHO HAS TO ASSESS WHETHER IT IS TRUE OR NOT.

    /// END ACT ///

    SECRETARY ALBRIGHT NOTED THAT THE UNITED STATES HAS OFFERED A GOVERNMENT TO GOVERNMENT DIALOGUE WITH IRAN. EARLIER THIS WEEK IRAN'S PRESIDENT SEEMED TO CAST DOUBT ON THAT HAPPENING ANYTIME SOON IN REMARKS TO REPORTERS HERE IN NEW YORK. HE EXPLAINED THAT THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT WANTS CULTURAL AND SPORTS EXCHANGES AND IS NOT READY FOR OFFICIAL MEETINGS.

    SECRETARY ALBRIGHT SAID AMERICAN ALSO BELIEVED IN SUCH PEOPLE TO PEOPLE CONTACTS, BUT GOVERNMENT TO GOVERNMENT TALKS ARE NEEDED TO MAKE PROGRESS IN THE RELATIONSHIP.(SIGNED)
    NEB/MGB/WDC/PT
    24-Sep-98 4:27 PM EDT (2027 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] THE WORLD'S ECONOMY FALTERS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=09/24/98
    TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-10927
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: DESPITE SOME GOOD NEWS WITH THE PROSPECT OF LOWER INTEREST RATES IN THE UNITED STATES, THE WORLD'S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK CONTINUES RATHER BLEAK. AFTER A MEETING IN NEW YORK TUESDAY, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER KEIZO OBUCHI TOLD MR. CLINTON THAT REFORM OF THE JAPANESE BANKING SYSTEM IS HIS NUMBER-ONE PRIORITY, BUT OFFERED THE PRESIDENT NO SPECIFICS OF HOW HE INTENDS TO COPE WITH IT. MEANWHILE, A DEAL TO HANDLE THE ONE TRILLION U-S DOLLARS HELD IN BAD LOANS BY JAPANESE COMMERCIAL BANKS WAS, AS "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" DESCRIBES IT, "IN TATTERS BACK HOME" BOGGED DOWN IN POLITICAL INFIGHTING IN THE DIET [JAPANESE PARLIAMENT].

    U-S DAILIES ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY ALARMED THAT THE WORLD'S FINANCIAL PLIGHT, WITH SPECIAL FOCUS LATELY ON JAPAN, RUSSIA AND BRAZIL, IS MORE LIKELY THAN EVER TO CONTINUE ADVERSELY AFFECTING THE ECONOMIC BOOM HERE IN THE UNITED STATES. FOR A SAMPLING OF COMMENT, WE TURN TO ____________ WHO JOINS US NOW WITH TODAY'S U-S OPINION ROUNDUP.

    TEXT: FRONT PAGE STORIES IN THURSDAY'S "NEW YORK TIMES" AND "WASHINGTON POST" GIVE MORE INDICATIONS OF THE RIPPLING EFFECT OF THE ASIA ECONOMIC CRISIS ON THE GLOBAL MARKET -- THIS TIME REACHING AMERICAN SHORES. THEY REPORT THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF NEW YORK STEPPED-IN TO HELP BAIL OUT LONG-TERM CAPITAL MANAGEMENT -- A LARGE AND PROMINENT SPECULATIVE FUND. ACCORDING TO ANALYSTS, THIS HIGHLY UNUSUAL MOVE WAS TAKEN TO PREVENT CONTINUED LOSSES BY BANKS AND BROKERAGES -- ALREADY BURDENED BY THE DOWNTURNED MARKETS.

    AT THE HEART OF THE CRISIS IS THE JAPANESE ECONOMY. "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" APPEARS FRUSTRATED AT THE INABILITY OF THAT COUNTRY TO COME TO GRIPS WITH THEIR BANKING PROBLEM.

    VOICE: PRIME MINISTER KEIZO OBUCHI MET PRESIDENT CLINTON IN NEW YORK TUESDAY WITH REFORM OF THE JAPANESE BANKING SYSTEM THE NUMBER ONE TOPIC BUT WITH NOTHING SUBSTANTIVE IN HAND. ...THE DISAPPOINTMENT AROUND THE WORLD WAS AUDIBLE. RECESSION IN THE WORLD'S SECOND-LARGEST ECONOMY -- THE WORST IN 50-YEARS -- IS A DRAG ON OTHER ASIAN COUNTRIES STRUGGLING FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY IN THIS YEAR OF CRISIS, AND THE SLOWDOWN IN ASIA IS BEING FELT IN CALIFORNIA AND ELSEWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES. ... [MR.] OBUCHI AND JAPAN WILL INCREASINGLY LOSE CREDIBILITY IF THE BANKING CRISIS IS ALLOWED TO FESTER. IF THE PRIME MINISTER IS UNABLE TO FORGE ACCEPTABLE LEGISLATION UPON HIS RETURN TO TOKYO, AN OPPOSITION CALL FOR NEW NATIONAL ELECTIONS IS PROBABLE. JUST THE PROSPECT OF THAT MIGHT FURTHER DEEPEN PARALYSIS IN POLICYMAKING AND SURELY WOULD DELAY BANK REFORM. THAT IS SOMETHING JAPAN AND ITS TRADING PARTNERS CANNOT AFFORD.

    TEXT: CLEAR ACROSS THE COUNTRY, MAINE'S "PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" SAYS AT A TIME WHEN THE STRONGEST INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP IS NEEDED, IT IS SORELY LACKING TO DEAL WITH THE ECONOMIC DILEMMA.

    VOICE: GERMAN CHANCELLOR HELMUT KOHL, THAT COUNTRY'S LEADER FOR 16-YEARS, TRAILS IN THE POLLS A WEEK BEFORE NATIONAL ELECTIONS. HE IS NEITHER INCLINED TO LEND AID WHERE IT IS NEEDED ABROAD NOR DEVIATE FROM GERMANY'S TRADITION OF CONSERVATIVE CENTRAL BANKING BY LOWERING INTEREST RATES. JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER KEIZO OBUCHI ... IS NOT A STRONG FIGURE POLITICALLY. ... RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN HAS A TENUOUS HOLD ON POWER. ...THEN THERE IS BILL CLINTON ... BROUGHT TO THE BRINK OF IMPEACHMENT BY A SEX SCANDAL AND HIS ATTEMPTS TO COVER IT UP. [MR.] CLINTON'S VOICE, SO BADLY NEEDED AT A TIME OF NEAR CRISIS FOR THE WORLD ECONOMY, HAS BEEN LOST IN THE OUTCRY OVER HIS PERSONAL FAILINGS ...

    TEXT: "USA TODAY" SAYS THE FALLING PRICES BROUGHT ABOUT BY GLOBAL ECONOMIC STAGNATION, MAY LOOK GOOD FOR THE U-S CONSUMERS, BUT CAN HAVE A DANGEROUS SIDE.

    VOICE: ... WHILE THIS DISINFLATIONARY BONANZA FEELS GOOD BY COMPARISON, IT IS NOT WITHOUT DANGERS. ... LOWER PRICES ARE GREAT, IF THEY COME FROM BETTER PRODUCTIVITY BROUGHT BY NEW TECHNOLOGY OR IMPROVED MANAGEMENT ... BUT THEY SPELL TROUBLE WHEN SPURRED BY WAVES OF ECONOMIC MISERY ABROAD THAT FLOOD THE NATION WITH CUT-RATE CARS OR OTHER IMPORTS.

    TEXT: IN "THE WASHINGTON POST" A COLUMN BY C. FRED BERGSTEN, A FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY AND DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS IN WASHINGTON, SAYS THE ASIAN ECONOMIC CRISIS WORSE THAN EVER IMAGINED AND WARNS OF THE IMPACT ON THE U-S WITHOUT REFORM.

    VOICE: WE NOW FACE A TRULY GLOBAL CRISIS, WHICH HAS ALREADY HIT THE UNITED STATES HARD AND WILL DO SO WITH INCREASING FORCE. RECOVERY ... WILL TAKE SEVERAL YEARS. THE AFFLICTED COUNTRIES (THAILAND, INDONESIA, MALAYSIA, [SOUTH] KOREA, RUSSIA AND, TO SOME EXTENT, CHINA AND HONG KONG) NEED FUNDAMENTAL REFORM OF THEIR BANKING AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE SYSTEMS. THESE STRUCTURAL CHANGES ARE FAR MORE DIFFICULT AND SOCIALLY DISRUPTIVE THAN CUTTING BUDGET DEFICITS, MONEY GROWTH AND OVERVALUED EXCHANGE RATES, THE CENTRAL RESPONSES TO MOST PREVIOUS CRISIS. ...//OPT// MOREOVER, JAPAN, WHICH ACCOUNTS FOR THREE-QUARTERS OF THE ASIAN ECONOMY, HAS PLUNGED INTO RECESSION AND IS ALREADY CLOSE TO A 'LOST DECADE' OF GROWTH A LA LATIN AMERICA IN THE 1980'S. ... //END OPT// IT IS TIME TO RECOGNIZE THE LONG-TERM NATURE OF THE CRISIS AND EXTEND MEANINGFUL DEBT RELIEF TO THE CRISIS COUNTRIES. ... CONGRESS SHOULD STEP INTO THE GLOBAL LEADERSHIP VACUUM BY PASSING BOTH FULL FUNDING FOR THE I-M-F AND NEW FAST-TRACK TRADE NEGOTIATING AUTHORITY FOR THE PRESIDENT.

    TEXT: LASTLY, "THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER" IS BOTHERED BY THE LACK OF ATTENTION THE U-S GOVERNMENT, AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE PAYING AS THE WORLD'S ECONOMY GOES SOUR, WHILE THEY WATCH VIDEOS OF THE CLINTON-LEWINSKY PLAYING OUT FROM WASHINGTON.

    VOICE: WHILE WASHINGTON FIXATES ON VIDEOS, THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS IS GROWING WORSE. THE U-S ECONOMY STILL LOOKS PRETTY GOOD, AS DO THE ECONOMIES IN MOST OF WESTERN EUROPE, BUT MUCH OF THE REST OF THE WORLD IS MIRED IN RECESSION OR DEPRESSION. /// OPT /// ASIA'S SLIDE COULD WORSEN. JAPAN'S BANKING SYSTEM IS NEAR RUIN. RUSSIA'S ECONOMY HAS COLLAPSED; BRAZIL'S MAY BE NEXT. /// END OPT /// ... IF THE WORLD'S SEVEN LEADING INDUSTRIAL NATIONS (KNOWN AS THE G-7) WOULD ACT TOGETHER, THEY MIGHT CHECK THIS SLIDE. ... BUT THE G-7 NATIONS ALL SEEM TOO BUSY WITH THEIR OWN PROBLEMS TO THINK IN TERMS OF GLOBAL COOPERATION. ... IN A SANER WORLD, A U-S LEADER WOULD BE RALLYING G-7 COUNTERPARTS TO RETOOL THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM -- AND CONGRESS WOULD BE RIGHT BEHIND HIM. BUT RIGHT NOW, SANITY IS IN SHORT SUPPLY.

    TEXT: ON THAT SOMEWHAT DISMAL NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF COMMENT ON THE GROWING WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS.
    NEB/ANG/GC/RAE
    24-Sep-98 3:03 PM EDT (1903 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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